Sunday, December 6, 2009
Dark Days Challenge week 3 - Asian pork and cabbage
This week's Dark Days meal features some of the last of our CSA produce from Wayward Seed Farm. I shredded Napa cabbage, carrots, and daikon radish together, and cooked them with an improvised sauce made of honey, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, and ponzu shoyu. For protein I cooked a single pork chop (from our local butcher shop, which has its own farm) in a similar sauce, then sliced it into strips and tossed it with the cabbage. You could easily turn this dish vegetarian by substituting mushrooms for the pork chop.
My partner asked me what sort of "method cooking" I used for this. I put this in the category of "mixing things that play well together." Carrots, daikon radish and Napa cabbage all make sense in an Asian context, and pork is another classic Asian ingredient. I was aiming for a lightly-cooked shredded salad, but ended up cooking it a little too long. It was still delicious, a good way to eat lots of veggies, and I was able to stretch a single pork chop into multiple (three!) servings.
As for the sauce, being able to improvise an Asian sauce is definitely a work in progress! My biggest tip is to balance out the salty flavor of soy with something sweet - I usually use honey, since there is always a big jar of local honey on my counter. And acid is a must, whether it comes from vinegar or citrus juice (either fresh citrus or strange bottled juices like sudachi from the Asian store. )